Let’s stay focused: Let’s not get carried away with Drua big wins
Let's not be carried away with the recent success of the Fiji Airways Drua rugby side's performance in the Australia National Rugby Championship.
Yes, we're all proud of their 41-5 humiliation of Perth Spirit at the ANZ Stadium, Suva last Saturday and the fact that they now lead the NRC points table. We should take note of why Drua head coach Senirusi Seruvakula on Monday stressed the need for them to stay focused and win the next two games if they're to make the top four.
We're still far away from winning the NRC and we should not be counting the Aussies out as yet. Remember, we're playing against Super Rugby 'feeder clubs' and they are more professional in their approach than us and surely are going to turn things around when it comes to the crucial part of the competition. Although, the Drua have recorded wins over Melbourne Rising, NSW Country Eagles and Spirit, the stats recorded in those games do not indicate their dominance.
Take for example the stats sheet for the Drua v Spirit match which shows a 41-5 win, six-tries-to-one thumping of the 2016 NRC champions.
The set piece battle was quite tight, with Perth taking a slight lineout advantage, Drua a similar edge in the scrums.
The breakdown and attack numbers show Perth well on top, winning two-and-a-half times as many rucks, carrying 70 per cent more than Fiji, and with 50 per cent more defenders beaten.
Flowing on from this, Fiji made twice as many tackles as Perth did, missed 50 per cent more, and they conceded 10 penalties to three.
Again, if you didn't see the game, and still couldn't see the final score, you'd have Perth winning reasonably well from these numbers.
For the Drua, it is a matter of taking one game at a time.
Robust No.8 Peni Raidre said it right in his interview with this newspaper that for them it's a matter of learning from every game and making things right for the next.
That should be the attitude as of now as our rugby sails to greater heights.
Although, the Fiji Airways Drua have recorded wins over Melbourne Rising, NSW Country Eagles and Spirit, the stats recorded in those games do not indicate their dominance.